Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tomato time

I don't even know where this last week went.

It was the longest most miserable week at work. I've got to find another job. eesh.

The tomato's are coming in and I've spent four of the last five evenings canning.
From tomato juice to sauce and soup.
Today is going to be a salsa kind of day.

I've found that of the funky varieties I planted - the Granny smith green tomato really never gets red and kinda tastes like a green tomato - big surprise there eh? The rainbow heirloom (right in the middle of the pic) is absolutely fantastically delicious! It is so sweet. The white variety (to the right of the rainbow) has a light yellowish hew with light green shoulders and tastes quite similar to the rainbow - wonderful! Mr Ugly (to the left and behind the rainbow) is a pinkish red misshapen blob and is awesome too. I really like the heirloom varieties they have more depth of flavor than say the Wisconsin55, big boy, early girl, or any of the other common red (hybrid?) varieties.

The lemon boy and Carolina gold are still my favorites though for best all around tomato's.  
Picture taken off the back porch the other night while I was canning.

Chyann had marching band practice all last week too. She will be playing the symbols since she is a freshman in the high school band - low man on the totem pole thing. First parade I think is going to be the 8th of Sept.
School starts here on the 4th!
Both kids have their back backs all packed and ready!
Colton, who is supposed to be moving into the dorms on the 1st doesn't have one single thing ready.
I think he has this idea that he'll only need a backpack full of stuff and if he needs anything he'll just drive home to get it - the school is a bit less than an hour away.
Reality shocker!
It's not going to work that way!
Going to school full time, having a work study job and doing your homework is probably going to be taking up most of his time - IF he is really applying himself.
Colton is a smart kid and has never really had to apply himself in the past to achieve whatever it is that he wanted - from school to music to whatever.
He has to apply himself to make this work.
I'm nervous and worried.
Especially since he all the sudden has an interest in a gal who is 22?!, lives in this area and who is NOT going to school. Distractions, distractions.
I'm off to feed the animals and pick more tomato's so I can get this canning out of the way and hopefully have the time to ride horses later.
Hope you all have a nice weekend :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Kalahari

We had the best time at the Kalahari in the Wisconsin Dell's!

Our travel day started out cool, wet and dreary.
 Course for a summer that broke all kinds of  heat records, the few days we planned on an adventure it would be just that - cool and dreary.

Chyann self portrait showing the cloudy skies on the drive down.

We stayed at the Kalahari - not a hotel or motel, but a freaking resort!
This place was amazing!

Can't believe I didn't take more pictures.
 All I can say is that I was having too much fun to continually have the camera in my hand and really when you are at a water park, unless you have a waterproof camera or are just there to watch, it's a little hard to take a bunch of pictures. The resort did advertised the option of  hiring a photographer to follow you around to take pictures, but nope that wasn't something we were going to do.

We got there at 10a, but wasn't able to check into our room for a while so we hit the indoor water park!

My eldest children were pretending to be cool and unaffected by the excitement of the place - just before we got wet.
Also pictured is my friend Sherri and her daughter Kayla.

The boys after doing a bunch of slides/rides taking a break at our table.
 My camera didn't care for the cavernous park and I had a hard time finding the right settings for decent picture taking, so some are dark and some are too bright and washed out.

We brought our own snacks and beverages to avoid having to spend an outrageous amount of $$ feeding ravenous kids.

Caden and Kayla in the wave pool.

Sherri and I

The work out you get from climbing up the platforms to go down the slides, that are at least three stories in the air, is incredible. Your thighs burn and ache! Which is made even harder if you are going on a ride that requires you to carry up your own tube to go down on.

I loved the rides! and was probably more excited and giddy than the kids!
My throat hurt at the end of the day from screaming and laughing so much.

The weather did clear up some during the afternoon to allow us to briefly go and explore the outdoor park.

That evening we threw on some clothes quick and went down to one of the bars that put on a show like Tom Cruise did in that movie Cocktail. There was hardly anyone there and it was pretty cool to see them throwing bottles all over, blowing fire and catching cherries. Not to mention getting a free shot.

The view from our balcony - how's that for fantastic!?!
Drinking coffee and relaxing before starting our day.

See that platform up on top? We hollered for Colton, who was in the room, to come take our pictures, but he never heard a thing - drat.

Is that not just gorgeous?!
I can picture myself down there on a 90* day sipping a Margarita.

Caden just woke up and told me he wants to be the first on that water.
They weren't the first, but pretty close.

The kids were back and forth between the outdoor and indoor park. Get cold being outside, go in and hit the wave pool and hot tubs. Warm up and head back out.

We didn't do as much downtown exploring as we'd have liked.
Next time we'll make it a longer trip so we can afford a few naps to so we'll have more energy to walk and explore that area. As it was, the 36 hours we were gone didn't include much sleep. Couldn't be wasting that time sleeping and boy does being in that water take a lot out of you.

A few things to remember for the next trip:

1 - bring more food.
2 - take off jewelry before going into the water, or better yet leave that stuff at home. I only lost the back of an earring, but could have lost a bunch.
3 - take more pictures
4 - butterfly band aids are helpful closing up your eldest sons elbow when it gets torn open going down the toilet bowl ride - OUCH!
5 - think about getting those water shoes because all of our feet were sore from walking on the textured floors.
6 - stick to the tube rides, the body rides are too hard on my old body.

Best part of going to the Dell's?

NOT knowing a single person, especially since I tried surfing, lost my suit bottoms and literally mooned a whole water park! 
OMG! It was an epic wipe out lol 
The kids were mortified of course, but Sherri and I couldn't quit laughing!

aah what a trip.
Loved every minute of it :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012




I mean:


I'm soo excited!
We've never been there, but have heard tons of stories from folks that have went and we can't wait!!

It'll just be me and the kids (yes Colton has even been persuaded to come), my good friend Sherri and her daughter.
No Hubby's!


Wont be gone too long though, a nice mini-vacation before school starts.

And hey!
Look what I found in the local paper:

Our ol' boy Cowboy!
Looks like he's doing well and right where he is supposed to be.

Lots of pictures and fun stories to come :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bears? oh yes.

Chyann and I went out for a ride yesterday afternoon.

Jenny was acting peculiar. Nose in the air, jittery and really not wanting to go in the direction we were headed. Scotch didn't mind much and only a time or two did he think turning around was a good idea. So we continued on.

Jenny was becoming increasingly agitated, which of course was starting to effect Scotch. Chyann was just saying she thought we should just turn around and go home when I saw a black bear lumbering on the edge of a field not too far from where we were! EEK!

In a calm voice, so not to panic Chyann, I tell her there is a bear not far from us and to start heading back the way we came. She is like WHAT!?!?!?!? but didn't say more or even look around to see what I was talking about, she turns and starts back at at sedate pace. Although we did gallop through one field and up a hill, we did pretty good not freaking out I think.

Chyann is saying now that Jenny is so smart! She knew there was something out there the whole time! Did she? Most likely I think.

Good scare for the day.
 Chyann is worried about riding out now. I am somewhat more concerned as well, but not enough to let it put a halt to our rides. I knew every time we rode out that there was a possibility of a bear encounter. She kind of forgot about bears after we saw the one earlier this year and was only concerned about a deer bounding out and spooking Jenny. Which is also a definite possibility. We've just got to be smart and stay on our toes.

Anyhow, after we got home we all went in the back pasture and looked at an oak tree I'm going to dig up and transplant one of these days.

Shasta is on a leash because she has been mysteriously disappearing for hours at a time into the corn field. No idea what she is doing, but Caden gets worried she wont come back so has decided to keep her on a leash for a while.

Climbing the gate. You see all those yellow looking weeds behind them? That is the dreaded rag weed that I'm allergic to and man is it killing me this year!

Gypsy, Jenny and Scotch.
 You'd think they'd keep their food in the feeder. 

The adorable Casper.

Got the lawn mowed yesterday and made a fantastic casserole with garden veggies for dinner.

Have a great day!

Friday, August 10, 2012


Made it through another week.

The weather no longer feels like the dog days of August, but cooler days of September.
In fact I'm sitting here in jeans and a sweatshirt for the first time in months. Supposed to get down to 46* by tomorrow morning too - burrrrr.

all this cool weather means fantastic riding weather!

These pictures were taken on Sunday.
It was a gorgeous day!
Chyann and I had the best ride!

Not sure how far from home we were, but we were gone over two hours.

Scotch looking at and smelling....

all this freshly cut alfalfa.

I love this picture of Chyann and Jenny.
Chyann looks sooo happy.

Got some good rain this week too.
The tomato's are really ripening up in the garden and I've got beans galore.

Caden has been busy with his dirt bike. Gettin a little braver all the time, but still managing to keep it upright - thankfully.

I think they are all getting anxious for school. Not that they'd really admit that to anyone, but I can tell.

What else is new?
I really need a stinking hair cut.
Still planning on the 5K w/Krissy come Sept and have been doing a minimum of 30 minutes of  elliptical a day. Not that that is probably the greatest training for a 5K, but I figure better than nothing. Kris is probably gonna blow me away anyhow lol.
I've found that I really am liking the regular exercise and my body sure can tell when I miss a day or two.
Our electric bill was 60 bucks more for the month of July and we don't even have freakin A/C! A note on the bottom of the bill said higher bill because of the hot weather. Well no shit, really? but 60 bucks! that is crazy. Can't imagine what folks with A/C's bill looked like.
Had a nasty little bear tick embedded in my thigh. Don't think it was there more than 12 hrs. Please no Lyme's disease.. eesh. 

Until tomorrow :)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Big winds!

We had a storm on Wednesday night that brought winds in excess of 65mph. Some folks in the area had straight line winds too.

When I got up and fed the animals at 5a, it was still pretty dark  - can you believe how fast we are loosing daylight already?!! - and I didn't see any major damage from the high winds, other than about half my peppers and tomato's in the garden getting pushed over.

Imagine my surprise when I happened to look out my office window at 610a and see my poor most favorite maple tree had lost another section!

I grabbed my camera on the way out the door to check it out.

Not much left of it now.

I don't know a lot about trees, except that I love them and think they are beautiful.

 I wonder if it can live this way or if I'm just prolonging the inevitable? Also there is a very small sucker that has begun growing next to the trunk, so maybe we should just cut it all down but that sucker? I don't know. What do you think?

A little nest got thrown from the tree.

Later in the day.

The calves sure loved that branch being down though.
They went climbing in the branches, scratching themselves all over and eating the leaves. Must have seemed like a great treat for them, even laying in the shade it provided when they were ready for a nap.

Spend most of Thursday afternoon tying up my plants in the garden.

Course we had another big wind storm on Friday night that pushed the rest of my tomato's and peppers over. Not to mention really blew a ton of  apples from the trees.

Thinking about making some applesauce early with all the downed apples. They are about ready anyhow and if not quite sweet enough I'll just add a crap load of sugar.

We broke out those sweet and hot pickles I made two weeks ago and guess what?! THEY WERE FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!

We ate them right from the jar and chopped up on a hot dog as relish - yumo!

Much cooler weather today, we might not even make it to 80* so to hell with all chores and other junk that needs to be done! I'm riding horses :)

Hope you have as great a day too!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hello August!

It's the dog days of August around here.
About 95* here today, so instead of going out and weeding, let's look at some garden pictures from last weekend.

The green beans looking North.
Those are Pumpkins/melons on the left and Hot peppers on the right.

Looking to the Eastish.
Hot peppers, sweet peppers and tomato's.

All pumpkin/melon pictures were taken from the edge of the garden, as it's waaay too spiky and scratchy to try to venture into the foliage to see more.

This guy is HUGE!

Little muskmelon.

I think this small yellow fleshed watermelon is about ripe for picking.
Gonna try him out this weekend.

This is taken with me standing next to the trunk of the Lady apple tree.
The branches are so heavy with apples the branches are almost touching the ground.

Going to do some pickling of these soon.

The horses and cows love them too.
Only problem is finding a willing apple picker-upper.

This is my unwilling apple picker-upper.
Cuz he's got waaay too many other fun things to do than pick up apples.

Too bad baby :)

My big accomplishment was doing up a batch of spicy dilly beans.
I didn't have enough of any kind so I picked all the green, yellow and purple.
The purple will turn white after processing and the yellow will fade some too.

Have a GREAT humpday!